Archive for May, 2006

Kudos

Monday, May 8th, 2006
to Senator Menendez, who who just became the 24th co-sponsor of S.2025, The Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act.
Is your Senator on board yet?

Addicted to petrodollars

Sunday, May 7th, 2006
An excellent article from Newsweek: "Iran has pursued its nuclear program behind the shield of high [oil] prices, and so far the policy has worked. At the United Nations Security Council not a single member, including the United States, has proposed boycotting Iranian oil [...] The mullahs, who are first and foremost interested in the survival of their regime, have gambled that eventually they can replace their oil shield with a nuclear one?and meanwhile the petro-billions will just keep rolling in [...]

"Rather than reinvesting oil revenues in new production capacity, Iran's government (like the corrupt elites of other oil-rich countries) prefers to pay off the public with big subsidies for political gain. Thus gas prices are subsidized so Iranians pay only about 10 cents a liter, which people use (or misuse) as they like. At a service station on Tehran's Pakistan Street, customer Farid Eshaghi slops about half a liter of gasoline onto the ground while filling up his tank. "Why should I be worried about wasting gas when we have so much oil in our country?" he asks.

"With Iran awash in money, economist Saied Laylaz notes, the country's spending of foreign exchange has gone up from $20 billion in 1997 to $50 billion this year. There's less control over corruption, which was already rampant: government auditors used to scrutinize any transaction over $10 million, says Laylaz; now the limit is $50 million. Domestic manufactures have declined as foreign imports have increased. Privatization has essentially come to a halt as the government finds it politically convenient to throw good money after bad to subsidize decrepit national industries. And worst of all, in the view of many Iranian liberals, Ahmadinejad has bought off much of the public, stifling dissent and frustrating democracy.

"A drop in oil prices could very quickly become the regime's greatest weakness. "If there's a decrease to lower than $40 a barrel," says Laylaz, "that would create chaos in the Iranian economy." But for now, the job of talking them up is easy, thanks to all the troubles in the region. And Shahpour Madani is happy to thank Iran's president for the money with which, finally, he decides to buy his wife that new fridge. "To tell you the truth, I didn't vote for Mr. Ahmadinejad," says Madani. "But it seems that he is the first president who thinks about the well-being of the people." Of course, many an addict thinks his dealer cares about him, too."

President Bush calls for cut in ethanol tariffs

Friday, May 5th, 2006
"when there's a time of shortage of a product that's needed, so that the consumers can have a reasonable price, it seems to me to make sense to address those shortages, and dropping a tariff will enable the foreign export of ethanol into our markets, which will particularly help on our coasts. And yeah, I've talked to Congress about that." CNBC

We respectfully disagree…

Friday, May 5th, 2006
General Motors Corp. Chief Executive Rick Wagoner: "They [oil prices] are too high right now and they will come back down [...] We don't expect [oil] to get to a price range when it would affect behavior"

Going up

Friday, May 5th, 2006
The WSJ reports: "A 36% rise in retail gas prices since early December is causing delivery companies, cruise lines, taxis, electric utilities, garbage collectors, landscapers, pizza chains and numerous other businesses nationwide to either tack on extra fees to the basic consumer price or to increase existing fuel surcharges.

"United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. this week boosted add-on fees for packages delivered by ground to 3.75% of the shipping rate from the previous 3.5%. FedEx also raised its U.S. air-shipment fuel surcharge to 13.5% of the shipping rate, up from 12%. The increases affect roughly 19 million shipments a day, and consumers now pay an extra $2 on each air delivery and about 25 cents on ground items because of fuel surcharges by UPS and FedEx. Yesterday, the U.S. Postal Service proposed a three-cent increase in the price of a 39-cent stamp, partly because of rising fuel costs. The post office doesn't use fuel surcharges. A-1 Limousine Inc. in Princeton, N.J., lifted its fuel surcharge to 12% from 10% a week sooner than planned after gas prices jumped more than 20 cents a gallon in a week."

Airlines are also raising fees: "Last month, AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and Delta Air Lines increased add-on fees on many international flights by $10 to $19 each way. " For background read "The Oil Crisis and its Impact on the Air Cargo Industry"

“To Solve Oil Crisis, Make Cars That Need Less of It”

Friday, May 5th, 2006
Congressman Engel: " Whether it?s the kidnappings in Nigeria?s oil fields, the rampant corruption in Russia, the war in Iraq or the nuclear standoff with Iran, when it comes to oil, America has few good options.

"The domestic oil picture is not much brighter. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast, shutting down oil platforms, pipelines, ports and refineries accounting for nearly one-quarter of our domestic supply and much of our capacity for distributing imports.

"While we cannot drill our way out of oil dependency, there is an answer that is good for the American economy, our environment and national security ? The Fuel Choices for American Security Act. By adopting vehicle technologies available today, such as the ability to use different types of fuels in cars, gas-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, and rapidly expanding the use and availability of fuels made from abundant or renewable resources, such as ethanol made from corn or other natural materials, America could begin to wean itself from its oil addiction.

"Our bipartisan legislation outlines a bold plan to reduce oil consumption and expand the fuel and vehicle choices of the American consumer. If your car had the option of using at least one fuel in addition to gasoline, our economy would be stronger, our environment cleaner, our country safer and our addiction broken. Oil would have less power over our economy as we would have expanded choices of domestic fuels ? and with homegrown choices comes competition in the marketplace, lower prices at the pump, and greater security abroad. "

22+23

Thursday, May 4th, 2006
Kudos to Senator Collins, who just became the 22nd co-sponsor of S.2025, The Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act.
Is your Senator on board yet?

UPDATE: Senator Carper just came on board as well! Kudos!

Rumor: Administration To Temporarily Suspend Ethanol Tariff?

Thursday, May 4th, 2006
Congressman Kingston's blog has more

Welcome aboard!

Thursday, May 4th, 2006
Kudos to Senator Lincoln for becoming a co-sponsor of S.2025, The Vehicle and Fuel Choices for American Security Act.
Is your Senator on board yet?

Energy independence is not a partisan idea

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006
Rep. Jack Kingston:
"Dependence on foreign oil threatens our national security and distorts global diplomacy. Whether it is bandit kidnappers in Nigeria, two-bit Communist dictators like Chavez in Venezuela, or the former student-hostage-taker turned President of Iran ? it is not in our interest to remain dependent on those who don?t share our interests.

"Each year we are sending tens of billions of dollars to regimes that are using that money to undermine us in our own hemisphere, to fund the forces of terrorism in radical mosques and suicide bomber schools across the Middle East, and now to build the "Islamic bomb" in Tehran?s nuclear plants [...]

"Energy independence is not a partisan idea. Republicans and Democrats pay the same high prices at the pump, liberals and conservatives are both threatened by oil funded terror. There will be plenty of places we can have political disagreement this year, I hope this is not one of them.

"I hope we come together as Americans first and join President Bush in his call to break our addiction to foreign oil. I hope we can set America free and lead the world to a future that is more secure here at home, that grows the jobs of the new century, and that improves the environment we will be leaving our children. I hope we?ll pass Fuel Choices for American Security this year. "